The Building Mastery of Termites

Cathedral Termite Mound
Cathedral Termite Mound This mound is home to a colony of grass eating termites, Nasutitermes triodiae. It's about 5 meters high and could be over 50 years old. 

This gigantic termite mound acts as a chimney which regulates air flow in an elaborate termite nest below ground. How can a bunch of tiny insects create such a large and complicated structure? 

Genius Engineers

Termites construct these mounds out of a mixture of soil, termite saliva and dung. Researchers from Harvard created a model simulating how termites construct their mounds. They are so intricate in creating internal air flows from outside air which regulates the mound internal temperature. The mound distributes termite pheromones which are chemicals released by workers telling other termites where and what to build.

The air flow in the chimney takes advantage of the difference in day and night temperatures to circulate air during the day and expel air during the night. 

Termite Inspired Biomimicry

Human Architects are learning how to design superefficient buildings and skyscrapers from these termite engineers. In Zimbabwe a skyscraper, The Eastgate Center, is built with a 100% naturally controlled climate system based on termite mound design.